UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The New Yorker Exegesis of Roswell (and Kevin Randle's Blog Visitors)

The current issue of The New Yorker [1/21/2013] has on page 24 an article by the magazine's financial writer, James Surowiecki; That Sunk-Cost Feeling.

The piece is about the New York Jets but applies, interestingly, to the ongoing Roswell debate at Kevin Randle's blog.

Mr. Surowiecki cites Ohio State psychologist Hal Arkes who is an expert on a financial dilemma known as "sunk-cost."

Surowwiecki writes, "...in the real world sunk costs are hard to ignore" and quoting Arkes, adds ... "Abandoning a project that you've invested a lot in feels like you've wasted everything, and waste is something we've been told to avoid."

"This means," Surowiecki continues, "that we often end up sticking with something when we'd be better off cutting our losses."

He goes on, "The sunk-cost dilemma isn't just about waste. It's also about reputation ... if you keep a foundering project alive there's always a chance that it will right itself."

"Giving up on a project, though, means that somebody has to admit that he shouldn't have done it in the first place," Arkes says.

"So how do you counter the problem? Surowiecki asks.

"Taking the original decision-maker out of the picture and letting a fresh pair of eyes look at the pros and cons can help," Arkes offers.

This is, in a nutshell, the problem with the discussions about Roswell, and especially the ongoing, never-ending tripe in the comment section of Kevin Randle's blog/

Everyone who comments there does so with such elaborate energy and prose that none are willing to give up the ghost.

They will die arguing, endlessly, about inconsequential Roswell minutiae rather than admit that they are in a sunk-cost situation.

One would hope that Kevin Randle would quell the nonsense, but his need for many (bad) comments rather than a few (good) comments is part of -- a large part -- of the problem.

And that problem? A topic that is unresolvable because of the ill-thinking participants in his inadvertent debate.